Kellyanne Conway

Kellyanne Conway: Barack Obama Started Muslim Ban, Says ‘This Is What Presidents Do’

Kellyanne Conway said on Sunday that President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban is an extension of a program started by President Barack Obama.

According to Conway, who is an advisor to Trump, Obama suspended the Iraq refugee program in 2011 after it was revealed that two Iraqi immigrants living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, had used improvised explosive devices against American soldiers in Iraq.

In that vein, Trump is simply following in Obama’s footsteps, Conway said.

“President Obama suspended the Iraq refugee program in 2011 and no one certainly covered it,” Conway told TMZ on Sunday. “He did that I assume because there were two Iraqis who came here, got radicalized, and joined ISIS and then were the masterminds on the Bowling Green attack on our brave soldiers.”

According to the FBI archives, the two men Conway mentions were “former Iraqi insurgents [who] participated in terrorist activities overseas and attempted to continue providing material support to terrorists while they lived here in the United States.” Ultimately, both men were sentenced to life in federal prison.

According to Conway, it was examples like these that led Obama to suspend the refugee program in 2011 and caused Trump to sign a similar executive order in 2017. A report from The Federalist, dated 2015, indicates that Obama halted the program after the FBI “uncovered evidence that several dozen terrorists from Iraq had infiltrated the United States via the refugee program.”

On Friday, Trump signed an executive order that suspends entry of all refugees for 120 days and suspends the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely. Additionally, Trump’s ban prevents citizens from seven predominantly-Muslim countries for entering the United States for 90 days. Those countries include Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Trump’s decision to limit entrance into the United States is an action that was designed to be “prospective and preventative,” Conway told TMZ.

“This is meant to protect our borders and protect us from terrorism,” Conway said. “The fact is that it was Congress and President Obama who identified these seven countries, so President Trump is just following.”

According to TMZ, President Obama, in fact, identified four of the countries, and “Trump plopped on 3 new ones with his exec order.” The celebrity news outlet added that Obama “temporarily put the brakes on the Iraqi refugee program by adding lots of red tape to the process.”

Regardless of who identified the countries, Conway said that executive orders like the Muslim ban introduced Friday are what presidents do.

“This is what presidents do when they’re trying to protect their country,” Conway told TMZ. “President Obama did it and now President Trump is doing it. President Obama identified these seven countries.”

In the days since the order was signed, many celebrities have spoken out against the ban, including British track star Mo Farah. Farah, who trains in the United States, was born in Somalia and took to Facebook to express his concern that he may not be able to return to Oregon, where his wife and four children live, once he’s finished training overseas.

Additionally, celebrities such as John Legend, Kim Kardashian, and Elon Musk have spoken out against the ban while thousands of protestors have taken to the streets in marches across the United States.

What do you think of Kellyanne Conway’s remarks regarding the Muslim ban introduced by President Trump on Friday?

[Featured Image by AP Photo/Andrew Harnik]